As expected, the return of Vladimir Putin to the presidency of Russia has come with crackdowns against free speech and association. One of the most worrisome incidents involved an activist who has been jailed for 15 days for the act of just spitting on a picture of Putin during a protest. Dmitry Karuyev, 20, used an interesting defense that he merely sneezed on it.
In the United States, you cannot be criminally charged for burning the flag as an act of free speech but in Russia spitting on a picture of the strongman will land you in jail.
He was charged with breaching the public order when a police officer said that he “deliberately spat at a portrait of Vladimir Putin.” He was described as leading a one-man protest. Now even the last remaining protester is safely in jail so Putin can return to making Russia great again — starting with elevating his image to the level of a sacred Russian icon.
This week also saw a crackdown on gay protesters.
It is hardly surprising to see Russia returning to oppression under Putin. However, free speech as a whole is under attack in the West. Russian civil libertarians are on the front line of fighting to preserve their rights to free speech and association against a man who has boasted about security forces breaking heads and crushing protesters. Perhaps we can hope that the next time Putin finds an ancient vase in his scuba diving, he might find an equally ancient relic of Russian free speech.
Source: Wall Street Journal
16 thoughts on “Russia Protester Jailed For Spitting On Picture Of Putin”
It happened to me, but I didn’t have to go to jail. And I didn’t call anybody, they showed up uninvited. They didn’t trash my house except for kicking in the door. I was asleep at the time.
The sound of the door being kicked in woke me up and I picked up a handgun. Then they started yelling “Police.”
Matt, yes, it can happen here.
This is a multi-part story of how an inability to sleep after Iraq service led to a call to a “help” line that was really a suicide hot line led to a huge police event in the middle of the night, trashing of a living space w/o warrant and two weeks of disappearance in jail. Could it happen to you? Right, Matt, it did happen to you.
Of course he didn’t, I think he wouldn’t care even if he knew, but the biggest problem of Putin are initiative idiots as subordinates.
Stepan, Moscow, Russia
You can take the man out of the KGB, but you can’t take the KGB out of the man.
What about Syria? Ask the Russians and Iranians.
I had my house broken into once. Do you know who did that? The local police at the behest of the IRS. I had a gun, but I didn’t use it. Do you think that can’t happen here?
Russian President Putin personally ordering the arrest of a picture-spitter — did he really do that? — reminds me of President Obama sitting in the White House personally deciding which 16-to-35 year old Muslims to kill for potentially thinking unkind thoughts about armed American goons breaking into their family’s or neighbor’s house in the middle of the night — or simply having their homes suddenly blasted out of existence with them inside. These national (Putin) and world (Obama) rulers just don’t seem to take criticism very well. Too bad that America doesn’t have a moral leg to stand on anymore, or else American presidents could go around the world lecturing others on “freedom” and stuff like that.
Just as an aside, in Singapore they have long had laws against spitting on the sidewalk. Something about spreading germs and infections in a densely populated community.
in stalins russia, picture spit on you.
Rasputin asked for a massage. That one refused to go. It was the seamstress that stabbed Rasputin in the guts.
What are you talking about Matt? Non-sequitar
I wonder if the olde Arabian curse would garner an arrest:
Putin would be really pissed at what photographer/artist Andres Serrano wanted to do with his picture.
I’m not a Russian. I only half German. And I used to be married to a German-Hungarian. She bought two sets of knives.
When we got divorced, I said you can take all the knives. She said, I’ll take you up on that.
BTW – I don’t blame the Russian woman for stabbing Rasputin in the guts.
Just wait, coming to a theater near you will be the same response…… Here in the good ole USA……
A women in Russia stabbed Rasputin in the guts because he gave her syphilis. The Czar’s wife liked Rasputin. Crazy bastard.
Um, what relic of Russian free speech? When did Russia ever have a history of free speech? I would say, if anything, Putin’s intolerance of dissent and opposition speech is perfectly in line with Russian history…
I guess a dry sneeze might be okay, it is the wet one you have to worry about, and worry about Putin. I had hoped we were done with Russis being like an N. Korea, etc.
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